The Perfect Christmas by: Debbie Macomber


Book #79 for #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks

In this 2009 Christmas book by Debbie Macomber, we follow Cassie who is desperate to have the perfect life; perfect family, perfect Holiday picture, perfect Christmas.  The only thing holding her back is that she is single.  She can not meet anyone that she deems worthy enough to marry.

She is so desperate for this life in fact, that she is willing to spend her entire wedding savings fund to hire a matchmaker.  She submits herself to completing some humilating tasks in order to show Simon the matchmaker that she is serious.

This was a cute holiday story.  It was not the best one I’ve read this holiday season, but it was a fun, quick read.

I gave this book 3 stars.


Christmas Letters by: Debbie Macomber


Book #78 for #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks

I’ve read a few of Debbie Macomber’s Blossom Street books and I have forgotten how much I enjoy them.  Debbie’s writing style is easy going and lighthearted.  This was a fun read.

Insta-love in YA books can be frustrating but in a short Christmas story like this, it works. Katherine, K.O. for short, is in between jobs and keeping herself busy writing Christmas Letters for people who don’t know how to write their own.  She has an eccentric neighbor and a crazy younger sister.

This was just a quick Christmas read but it was so fun!

I gave this book 5 crowns.



Big Magic by: Elizabeth Gilbert


Book #77 for #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks.

It is no secret that I loved Eat, Pray, Love by this author.  I first read it at a time in my life in which I felt as if it was meant for me to read.  I have read some other works by Elizabeth Gilbert and they have been hit or miss.

I ordered this book when it first came out and hoped that I would enjoy it.  I listened to this book on audio because she reads it and I love her voice and narration.  I was not disappointed with Big Magic.

I found myself nodding my head in agreement and talking to Elizabeth while I was alone in my car.  I felt as if I was having a conversation with a friend.  Her thoughts on fear and creativity are so spot on.  I related to this book like I didn’t think I would.

I highly recommend this to anyone who is intimidated by creativity and held back by fear.

I gave this book 5 crowns.


The Christmas Shoppe by: Melody Carlson


In between reading books for review, I am reading some quick Christmas books.  This is book #76 for #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks.

Melody Carlson is a Christian author and this is a book that touches the spirit.  It is not overly religious and is a cute read.

When a complete stranger comes into town and purchases an old building, the town is divided on how to feel.  Matilda Honeycutt is being very secretive about what the purpose of her store is and all she will say is that it will be a Christmas shop.  Her eccentric dress and behaviors have some of the towns people on edge.

What will happen when the store finally opens to the public or will Matilda be forced out of town before that can happen?

I gave this book 3 crowns.


The Love Goddess’ Cooking School by: Melissa Senate


Book #75 for #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks

Can you see a theme for this month’s book picks?  I am really into the food genre this month and this was my next pick.

In this novel, Holly moves in with her grandmother after a tough breakup.  Her grandmother owns Camilla’s Cucinotta, an old school Italian style cooking school and store.  When her grandmother passes away, Holly inherits this place and all of the memories and stories that goes with it.

This was a sweet story of growth and acceptance as well as a story of love, friendship and food.  The cover art is gorgeous and story line was endearing.

I gave this book 3 crowns.


Julia’s Chocolates by: Cathy Lamb


Book #74 for #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks

Julia leaves her wedding dress hanging from a tree as she runs runs away from her abusive fiance on their wedding day.  That is how this story opens and things become more intriguing from there.  She goes to live with her eccentric aunt and everyday she learns more and more about that neighborhood of people and ultimately herself.

There are some crazy situations that she gets involved in but those lead her to self growth and essentially creating her own family.  This was a good story and it kept my interested.

I gave this book 3 crowns.


The Cookbook Collector by: Allegra Goodman


Book #73 for #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks

I picked this book up on a whim from a Library book sale that I went to last month.  I really didn’t know much about it but the title caught my attention.  I was able to find this book on audio from my OverDrive app and listen to it on my commute.

I really enjoyed this book.  It had a little to do with food, a little to do with books and a lot to do with relationships.  The combination of all three led to a wonderful read.  I highly recommend this book and don’t want to give you any details about it.

I gave this book 5 crowns.


Tender at the Bone by: Ruth Reichl


Book #72 for #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks

If you have read my other reviews, you know how much I love Ruth Reichl’s writing.  She pays such incredible attention to detail and takes the reader into her story.  Added bonus: recipes are included.  This is a nonfiction book that takes us back in time to when Ruth was growing up and had to protect house guests from her mother’s cooking.

We hear about how food became such an integral part of Ruth’s life.  This is a coming of age story that only Ruth Reichl could tell.  I encourage everyone to pick up her books.  I only have two more to go before I have read what is currently published and I am taking my time to get through them because I know I will love them.

I gave this 5 crowns.



Sweetbitter by: Stephanie Danler


Book #71 for #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks

Ok, so this was a super-hyped book when it was released earlier this year and I was so excited to get it.  It stood on my shelf for a few months but I finally picked it up.  I was so incredibly disappointed.

When I first started it, all I could think about was that it was more of a stream of consciousness style then a novel.  I also don’t know what I was thinking, but I thought that this was a memoir and not a novelization.  However, even if it was a memoir, it still would have been bad.  I don’t know who hyped this book up or how it became a National Bestseller.

I had a very hard time trying to figure out what I was reading but I thought it would get better so I continued to read it instead of DNF’ing it…it didn’t.  I also refused to put it down because I paid full price for it. That just makes me mad!

I gave this book 1 crown.


The Art of Baking Blind by:Sarah Vaughan


Book # 70 for #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks

The second book that I picked up this month was another book about cooking.  I have this book on my shelf for a while as well, but picked this book up on audio to listen to during my commute.  I absolutely loved this book.

The search is on for the new Mrs. Eaden, the famous chef behind the grocery chain that was established by her husband.  This is a contest in which several contestants compete in a culinary competition to gain the recognition that they crave.  We learn about each of their lives as well as the life of the esteemed Mrs. Eaden.

This was a enchanting, soul wrenching story about a group of people who lead their own lives but are looking for the same thing: recognition.  All they ever wanted was a bit of attention being shown to them.  This is a story that is very easy to read.

I gave this book 5 crowns.